Environmental Impacts of COVID-19

Throughout weeks of the Movement Control Order implementation, from inside of my living room in Kuala Lumpur, feeling the world around me growing quieter each day, I have been religiously reading over articles, journals regarding the green positive impacts of pandemic towards the environment to fill in my free time. A third of the global population is on partial lockdown, movement restriction and abiding social distancing rules and orders where residents were told to not leave home except for essential reasons. The usual hum of public life has decreased its rhythm since then. From train stations to highways to shopping malls and pavements, it all became in a state of serenity without the hustle and bustle of human movements.


So here I would like to share with you few of my findings:


As cities, highways and roads began to slow down, the Earth observed a significant decrease in air pollutant volume. As we all know, air pollution contains harmful gases such as Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide and Sulphur Oxides that are all emitted from cars, buses and trucks and can cause serious damage to human health. Due to less number of vehicles on the road, the emission has been reduced and hurrah to cleaner air!


FACT: In China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, experts estimate that emissions over the past month have been about 25% lower than normal.


Aircraft are responsible for around 7% of the global greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and ever since this pandemic occurred, the booming business has however become un-booming since airlines have to suspend and severely reduce its flights internationally and domestically. It is true that it is bad for the world economy but it is not entirely negative in the environmental perspective. Why? This is because this occurring situation reduces the level of GHG emissions and not to mention, reduces noise pollution.


FACT: airplanes emit their fumes directly into the upper atmosphere, where they may linger longer and cause more damage as the same gases at lower altitudes.


Since the lockdown/restriction movement was implemented, the oceans probably became quieter. With the suspension of marine and cruise ships related industries’ operations, the absence of noise emitted from the ships has gradually reduced the amount of global ocean noises. This has direct peace to the underwater ecosystem and also reduces water pollution.


FACT: Research has shown that ambient noise from ships and other maritime traffic can increase stress-hormone levels in marine creatures, which can affect their reproductive success.



As we can see, nature is currently taking a breath when the rest of us are holding ours and I hope at the end of this pandemic phase, we will preserve our environment with fervor. A clean environment is essential for healthy living. The more we tend to ignore that fact, the more harmful its impact..


Stay indoors & stay safe!

Thank you for reading.


Written by,

Nurin Sofiya binti Zaini


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